Family Europe Trip 2023: Skiing in Switzerland With Kids

This post focuses on the itinerary we followed during our visit to the Tasch/Zermatt area including skiing in Switzerland with kids.

We arrived in Tasch on day 5 of our Switzerland part of the trip. It was about a 1 1/2 hour train ride and just a 15-minute train stop away from Zermatt.

Day 5: Monday, April 3

We headed via train to Tasch with our Eurail pass. We stayed at this amazing Airbnb with the best hosts, Romy and Beni.

The apartment was the entire floor above where the hosts lived and it was impeccably cleaned. It was much like all of our Airbnb experiences throughout Europe.

It was only about a 10-minute walk through the quaint town of Tasch to get to our apartment.

Tasch is a quaint and quiet town with very cool architecture. Buildings like the one above were plentiful. These barns, called stadels (grain-storage barns) are representative of Switzerland’s history of self-sustaining mountain towns.

Residents used to store grain in these barns to have all year round to feed their families when accessibility to other towns was challenging and cost-prohibitive at times.

I couldn’t get over the views and location of this place. It was amazing. We all loved it so much that we would absolutely return.

We didn’t eat out at all in Switzerland since the cost was so high. So Airbnbs are definitely a go-to way for us to travel.

Our Airbnb in Tasch provided a fondue set so we had to partake in one of Switzerland’s cultural meals.

Our main purpose for the last few days in Switzerland was to SKI! This is/was my ultimate bucket list/thought I’d never have the chance to do…ski in the Swiss Alps!

To say I was excited is an understatement.

With that said, we stayed in Tasch since it was much more economical compared to Zermatt – the town we planned to ski from.

Day 5: Tuesday, April 4

Thankfully, we had our Eurail pass to use for a short 15-minute train ride to Zermatt.

This was the view from our train ride. We decided to check out Zermatt, explore a bit, and figure out the logistics of ski passes and ski rentals. So on the following day we could high-tail it to the slopes.

Zermatt is absolutely breathtaking and I loved the entire town’s vibe. Yes, it’s super fancy and expensive, but we didn’t shop and barely bought any food while in town. Just wandering about the town and seeing the views was absolutely worth the visit.

Day 6: Wednesday, April 5

Day one of skiing was just about as amazing as I imagined it, although a bit terrifying at the same time. Skiing in Switzerland with kids is not for the faint of heart.

We stayed on the Switzerland side this day (more on that later), and some of the runs had very narrow passageways (8-10 feet wide), with drop-offs on one side.

So not scary for me, however, it was quite crazy at times. Although it didn’t seem to phase the kids much.

This was one of the many views we had from the gondola rides.

I was very impressed by our kids’ ability to ski for several hours with very little complaining.

We stopped for a quick snack at a cafe in Zermatt to refuel before heading up the mountain again.

Yes, they are snacking on French fries, since it’s one of the few things they could agree on, and one of the few things we recognized on the menu.

Dan and I enjoyed a hot beverage + caffeine!

Dan also carried his backpack to hold snacks and water bottles to save money by minimizing purchasing food and drinks.

I’m very much of the mentality of spending money on experiences (aka skiing) versus consumables (food/drinks).

Lots of smiles…at least for the most part 🙂

Skiing with Kids in Switzerland Tips

If you ever ski in Europe (similar to out West in the United States I presume), find the ski rental shop that is the CLOSEST to where you are going to take the ski lift/funicular/gondola.

We made the mistake of finding a decently-priced ski shop and went with it. This was before we discovered it was about a 3/4 mile walk to the funicular that would take us up the mountain.

Another thing to note is that while we packed winter jackets and ski pants, we didn’t have any sort of goggles. And I didn’t think it was worth carrying around 5 pairs of them all around Europe.

Well, we were pleasantly surprised that the ski shop where we rented all the equipment had a handful of goggles to borrow for no extra cost! It was not a necessity but definitely an extra comfort!

And, I also noticed that you could rent ski jackets and pants – which I assumed was possible. However, we needed our jackets during the rest of our trip so it was just the ski pants that were “extras” added to our luggage.

And after about 4 hours of our first skiing adventure, with very little complaining, we all had to carry our skis back to the ski shop.

In total, it was about a mile of walking in ski boots. And then we had to walk more to get back to the train station, but…this is what you call love. Little brother was so exhausted and Mackenzie was so sweet to give him a little break!

Day 7: Thursday, April 6

Today’s adventure of skiing turned out to be way more than any of us had bargained for.

We decided to ski from the Switzerland side of Zermatt to Italy for lunch. It was only an extra $15 per ticket so it was well worth it. Then we’d end up back in Zermatt by the afternoon.

Now I realize this sounds surreal since it did to me too, but how cool of an idea was that!?

The Italy Adventure

Skiing in Switzerland With Kids

This is the only photo I was able to take at the top. That’s because we were in a rush to make sure we got back to Switzerland in time.

We only had until around 3:30 pm or so before the only funicular that ran between Italy and Switzerland closed for the day. If we didn’t make it, we’d be stuck in Italy for the night!

One of Dan’s colleagues actually lives in Switzerland and decided to join us for skiing today. Let me say, he was a lifesaver!

Navigating from Switzerland to Italy was not easy, and he was a fantastic navigator. He also has three children who are similar ages to ours so he understands kids quite well.

Skiing in Switzerland With Kids

And here’s a look at the more open runs we had toward the Italian side. The ski conditions were amazing, and so much better than the Switzerland side the day before.

Skiing in Switzerland With Kids

This was earlier in the day when we were full of energy! It took about three hours of skiing before we would reach the Italian restaurant and then head back to Switzerland.

But, unfortunately, Dan took a strange fall and injured himself pretty badly. I knew it was bad as soon as he didn’t get up right away.

And mind you this was…in Italy…very far from doctors/hospitals…in a foreign country…with all three of my kids. My emotions went through the roof as you may expect, but I kept it together since I had to help him and not have my kids worry any more than they already were.

On the bright side, where he fell was in a location where we were able to get help from the ski patrol within about 5 minutes of the fall.

(We saw signs like the one below frequently, but we stayed on the paths, never “off piste” where avalanches could happen!)

Fairly soon after Dan’s fall, the snowmobile and additional help arrived and they strapped him into the sled and took off by snowmobile.

This is all while the ski patrol were speaking in English (as their second language) with me, while I’m making sure they were taking him to a hospital in Switzerland and NOT Italy!

If it had been anywhere else on the mountain, I don’t want to think about how long it would have taken to get help.

After he left, Dan’s colleague, myself, and my three kids had to eat and drink something before heading back to Switzerland. We were all pretty tired and spent by this time as you can imagine, but grabbed a quick bite to eat at the restaurant we were parked in front of.

All in all, it was a bit traumatic for all of us. But, I am so thankful it was only bones/ligaments that were damaged – since you can repair those parts…not so much if you hit your head!

When all was said and done, I was extremely impressed by my kids’ tenacity, energy level and ability to finish skiing the mountain.

It took about 2+ hours to get down the mountain after Dan’s accident. This was all more than I bargained for when we added skiing in Switzerland with kids to our original European plans.

Overall, we would 100% do Switzerland with kids again.

As I like to say I think I found Heaven on Earth! Yes, I love it that much. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the country, especially in the summertime.

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